Tuesday, March 30, 2010

You can both go hang, say voters.

As Vince Cable emerges as the clear winner of the debate between Britain's prospective Chancellor's, a new poll is stating that the British people do not want another Labour government - with 50% saying Brown's return to power would be unthinkable - but that there is also no enthusiasm for the election of the Tories - with 51% of the electorate stating that this is the case.

Fifty per cent of people regard it as "unthinkable" to elect Mr Brown for another five years, while 44 per cent disagree with this statement. Almost one in four Labour supporters believe electing Mr Brown for another term would be "unthinkable". However, 51 per cent say they personally feel no enthusiasm for the Conservative Party, with 42 per cent disagreeing. Remarkably, a quarter (24 per cent) of those people who intend to vote Tory say they have no enthusiasm for the party.
It really is, as the Independent today states, "a plague on both your houses".

George Osborne was almost comical last night as he set out his stall as would be Chancellor, and was easily devastated by Cable:

The result is a blow to the Tories, who are also unlikely to have been boosted by the performance of George Osborne during Channel 4's Chancellors debate last night. Both Alistair Darling and Vince Cable questioned how he could afford to reverse Labour's proposed rise in national insurance contributions. But the shadow Chancellor said that the Government had identified £11bn of waste which could be cut. He told Mr Darling: "Instead of tackling that waste now and stopping wasting people's money, you want to increase the taxes on pretty much every single person here in this room and people watching at home."

Mr Cable said: "George, last week you went round denouncing these government supposed efficiency savings as complete fiction – which, frankly, a lot of them are.

"You are now using these fictional savings to finance your tax cut. That is utterly incredible."

It's the final proof of the argument I have been making for a very long time. The country have had enough of Labour and Gordon Brown, but the Tories have offered no reason to vote for them, other than the simple fact that they are not Labour and Cameron is not Gordon Brown.

I would, frankly, be stunned if there was any genuine enthusiasm for the Tories as they have yet to tell us just what it is that they propose to do.

At the moment they are limping towards power on a wave of public apathy towards both the main political parties.
Meanwhile, a strikingly high 38 per cent of people believe the country would be better off with a hung parliament and coalition government, while 53 per cent disagree. One in four Tory supporters would prefer a hung parliament and coalition, as would 36 per cent of Labour and 57 per cent of Liberal Democrat voters.
One in four Tories and one in three Labour supporters - their own supporters - want a hung parliament. That's a simply astonishing set of figures.

And yet, who can find it surprising when we are so near to an election and yet the main opposition party resolutely refuse to discuss politics and policy, deciding instead to seek election through what they are not, as opposed to setting out a vision which they want the country to follow.

And the very few indications which they have given us of what they intend to do are reminiscent of every dreadful Tory government which we have ever endured. And Labour, well they refuse to set out what any of us would regard as a progressive agenda, and seem determined to embrace the politics of triangulation.

And both parties appear to have decided that the main battle ground for the forthcoming election should be who is going to be the most savage when it comes to cutting public spending.

It's unsurprising that enthusiasm for politics in Britain is at an all time low.


Worth reading: Steve Richards: And I thought the Tories had changed.

For an opposition that has changed quite so often, tonally and in policy terms, government must seem something of a nightmarish prospect, however badly it wants to win. In power, policies cannot be altered in the way that in opposition words can be unsaid. Perhaps the Conservatives could have won convincingly by arguing for tax cuts from the beginning, as David Davis did in the 2005 leadership contest. Maybe they could have won by sticking with Labour's tax-and-spend plans. Possibly they could have walked it by proposing spending cuts and insisting that tax cuts would have to wait. They might have won by calling for immediate spending and tax cuts. But to try out all four permutations is quite something.

What are we going to get next, a revival of William Hague's Tax Guarantee and a commitment to slash the deficit more quickly, or perhaps a pledge to cut petrol duties before the publication of the party's manifesto for the environment? A more nimble-footed governing party could take this confused, inexperienced Conservative leadership to the cleaners.

Richard's has a point. Brown should be devastating Cameron's Tories at this point. They appear to stand for everything and nothing. We all know that they very badly want to elected; they just can't tell us why.

Click here for full article.

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